The Daily Agenda for Saturday, May 26
May 26th, 2012
TODAY’S AGENDA (Ours):
Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Alkmaar, Netherlands; Bradford, UK; Cambridge/Kitchener/Waterloo ON; Dresden, Germany; Durban, South Africa; Düsseldorf, Germany; Eskilstuna, Sweden; Hanover, Germany; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Melbourne, FL; Moscow, Russia; Pensacola, FL; Salerno, Italy; and Washington, DC (Black Pride).
TODAY’S AGENDA (Theirs):
World Congress of Families: Madrid, Spain. The Rockford, Illinois-based Howard Center will continues its sixth World Congress of Families for the second day today in Madrid. Today’s speakers include Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who trades on her family ties to campaign against LGBT rights. Her topic is “Culture of live vs. culture of death: the greatest civil rights issue of today.” The conference will also hear from:
- American ex-gay therapist Richard Cohen, who will present a discussion titled, “Solutions to homosexual behavior.” Cohen, of course, is the cuddle-your-client-until-he’s-straight therapist who has been banned for life from the American Counseling Association for ethical violations. He recently tried to cloak his ex-gay ministry as a fake gay-affirming support group.
- Family Watch International’s Sharon Slater, who is on record as opposing the removal of the death penalty for homosexuality — a position that I have heard Slater defend in person as well as in her book. Incredibly, she will be a part of a panel discussion which asks, “Can we have Democracy and Human Rights without God?”
- Alliance Defense Fund’s Alan Sears will speak on “The homosexual lobby.”
- Alliance Defense Fund’s Peiro A. Tozzi, on “Sexual orientation in International Law.”
- Alliance Defense Fund’s Benjamin Bull will be part of a panel discussion on “Hate Speech Laws and Anti-Discrimination to marginalize believers.”
- National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown will be part of a panel discussion on “How to make an impact during elections.”
- Americans for Truth’s Peter LaBarbera (head of an SPLC-certified hate group) will be part of a panel discussion on “Fighting for freedom to educate.”
- United Families International’s Marcia Barlow (with another SPLC-certified hate group) will speak at an alternate youth program titled, “The future of the pro-life movement: Will the next generation be pro-family?”
TODAY IN HISTORY:
Massachusetts Buggery Law: 1697. After the Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth colonies were united into the new Massachusetts Colony, a revision to the old Massachusetts Bay Law of 1672 revised its old sodomy law. The death penalty remains, but now “Buggery” is defined to include bestiality as well as sodomy:
For avoiding of the detestable and abominable Sin of Buggery with Mankind or Beast, which is contrary to the very Light of Nature; Be it Enacted and Declared … That the same Offence be adjudged Felony … And that every Man, being duly convicted of lying with Mankind, as he lieth with a Woman; and every Man or Woman that shall have carnal Copulation with any Beast or Brute Creature, the Offender and Offenders, in either of the Cases before mentioned, shall suffer the Pains of Death, and the Beast shall be slain and Burned.
Massachusetts abolished the death penalty for sodomy and bestiality in 1805.
First Intersex Actress On Film: 1976. She made her debut on the screen in the 1976 movie Drive-In. Set in small town Texas, the story portrays a slice of life as the town’s teens gather at the local drive-in to watch a disaster flick. The film’s movie-within-a-movie (the movie being screened at the drive-in) is a hilarious sendup of action movies. Among the cast is Katherine Connella (billed as Neely Richlond) who plays a student and is the first intersexed person to star in a motion picture. Katherine’s biography, released in 2001, describes her experience of being born and growing up a combination of genders.
Maryland Adds Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to Hate Crime Law: 2005. Five days after vetoing a bill that would provide domestic partnership for same sex couples, Maryland governor Robert Ehrlich (R) signed a bill to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s hate crime law. Conservative religious groups naturally protest.
Sakia Gunn: 1987. If she were alive today, she’d be celebrating her twenty-fifth birthday. Instead, she didn’t quite make it to sweet sixteen. On May 11, 2003, she and her friends were waiting for the #1 New Jersey Transit bus in downtown Newark when they were propositioned by two men. The girls rejected their advances by declaring themselves to be lesbians. The men attacked, and when Gunn fought back, one of the attackers stabbed her in the chest. After both attackers fled, Gunn was rushed to the hospital where she died. The murder became the subject of several protests in Newark, and more than 2,500 people attended her funeral.
One of the attackers, Robert McCullough, was arrested and charged with murder. In a tale that could have come from a bad comedy sketch, McCullough claimed that Gunn died after she ran into his knife. He eventually agreed to a plea bargain in which the murder charges were dropped in exchange for a guilty plea for manslaughter, aggravated assault and bias intimidation. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).
And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?